Video doorbells caught thief stealing from parked cars

Custody image of Sebastian Hart.

Hart had been caught on camera, trying the door handles of various parked cars. - Credit: Cambridgeshire Police

A man has stolen a wallet, multiple pairs of sunglasses and a driving licence from parked vehicles in Peterborough.

Sebastian Hart, 42, was arrested in the early hours of July 8, in Wilton Avenue, Hampton Gardens.

He had been caught on video doorbell footage trying the door handles of various parked cars, and a member of the public had phoned the police.

When searched, Hart was found to be in possession of a wallet with bank cards and a drivers licence that was not in his name.

Three pairs of sunglasses, a small amount of heroin and several items that are commonly used to break into vehicles were also found.

These items included a wrench, screwdriver, scissors and a ‘life hammer’ designed to smash the glass of a car window in an emergency.

Two further incidents were reported to Cambridgeshire Police on July 6, which also involved a man trying the door handles of parked cars.

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Footage of the incidents in Hawthorn Road, Eastfield, showed Hart in the same clothing and riding the same bicycle as when he was arrested two days later.

A day earlier, on July 5, Hart was again caught on video doorbell footage entering a car in Exeter Road, Millfield, and stealing £20 in cash.

Sebastian Hart pleaded guilty to three counts of interfering with a vehicle, two counts of theft from a vehicle, going equipped for theft, and being in possession of a class A drug (heroin).

Hart, of no fixed address, appeared at Peterborough Magistrates' Court on Friday (15 July), where he was sentenced to ten weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months.

He was also given a 25-day rehabilitation activity requirement where he must engage with addiction support services and handed a five-year criminal behaviour order (CBO) which prevents him from entering or touching any vehicle that does not belong to him without permission from the owner.

A green map covering Peterborough.

Harts' CBO covers the whole of Peterborough and surrounding villages. - Credit: Cambridgeshire Police

This covers the whole of Peterborough and the surrounding villages.

Police constable Josh Holmes said: "As we have seen in these instances, video doorbell footage can be a huge help in identifying criminals and providing evidence.

“There have been many instances of thefts and attempted thefts from vehicles across Peterborough this month, therefore I would urge members of the public to be vigilant, take precautions where possible and report any concerns or suspicious activity to us.

"Always dial 999 if you think a crime is in action.”

Information about Hart breaching his CBO, or any other offence, can be reported online or by calling the police's non-emergency number 101.